About Zoosk

Established in 2007 and based out of San Francisco, CA, Zoosk is an online dating service that helps millions of individuals find their most compatible matches based on similar interests, passions, goals, and more. A highly funded company that is backed by a variety of big-name ventures, Zoosk caters to all demographics, regardless of age and/or sexual orientation. While Zoosk is available internationally and in 25 different languages, the bulk of their services are primarily geared for a U.S.-based dating audience.

Zoosk Features

Getting started with Zoosk is fairly straightforward, and completely free. First, you’ll need to fill out your personal details (e.g. height, ethnicity, current relationship status, religion, educational level, etc.), and answer a few questions (e.g. favorite music/books/movies, your ideal dating experience, etc.). Then, after confirming your email address, you’ll be able to immediately start browsing profiles and pictures of other singles, as well as view additional information such as their interests, stories, relationship status, and more.

When searching for other singles, you can narrow results within a certain distance of your location, and can also filter by religion, body type, children, etc. One of the unique features about Zoosk is their “compatibility” feature, which works by listing your compatibility level with another single based on your answers to a certain set of questions, such as: “How important is physical appearance to you?” or “How important is it to keep your word?” You can change your answers to these questions in order to fine-tune the results, but only once every 24 hours.

Also, members can play the Zoosk Carousel game, which is where random individuals in your area are displayed, and you’re then given the opportunity to specify whether you’re interested in meeting with them. If so, you can notify them of your interest directly through the site, and will receive a confirmation should the other user be interested in meeting you. Once this occurs, the only way you’ll be able to view their contact information is to “unlock the Mutual Match” at a cost of 20 Zoosk coins, which we’ll discuss in more detail in the following section. On the other hand, if an individual plays the Carousel game and lands on your information, they can also send you a connection request.

Additional Zoosk features include the ability to send and receive “winks” and “flirts” to other individuals, to send virtual gifts, and to receive notifications every time someone views your profile. Perhaps the biggest benefit of using Zoosk is their Scientific Matchmaking Service (ZSMS), which is a patent-pending technology that evaluates compatibility between members. From our experience, the ZSMS is fairly effective, and works by learning your “yes” and “no” votes to better match you with other users.

Other minor Zoosk properties include the ability to gift Coins, a proprietary text and video messenger system that allows you to communicate directly with other members, as well as Facebook and mobile apps.

Zoosk Pricing, and What You Get for Your Money

As we mentioned at the beginning, joining Zoosk, starting a profile, and viewing other members’ profiles is completely free. However, any additional options are severely limited—so much so, that effectively using the site without paying money is next to impossible. With this said, almost every feature on the site uses Zoosk Coins as a form of currency, which can be purchased in bundles:

  • 180 Coins = $19.95
  • 480 Coins = $49.95
  • 1800 Coins = $99.95

In other words, the more Coins you purchase at one time, the more money you’ll save. Also, you’ll likely want to sign up for a subscription, which is required to make full use of Zoosk and connect to other users, including sending messages and winks, chatting with other members, seeing who’s viewed your profile, and fully capable ZSMS. Subscription pricing is as follows:

  • Month-to-month = $29.95 per month
  • Three months = $19.98 per month (one payment of $59.95)
  • Six months = $12.49 per month (one payment of $74.95)

In more specific terms, you’ll save 58% by signing up for the six-month plan, versus paying month-to-month for the same period of time.

Here are a few of the benefits you’ll gain access to after purchasing a Zoosk membership and/or Coins:

  1. The ability to send unlimited messages to other users, as well as to view the messages other users have sent to you. Without a membership, you can send one message to an individual, but will be required to purchase a membership in order to send additional messages.
  2. Without a subscription, once another user views your profile, you’ll be able to see their name, age, city, and one picture. However, in order to view their full profile and make a connection, you’ll need a subscription.
  3. After playing the Carousel game, you’ll need 20 Zoosk Coins in order to view the profiles of individuals who have viewed yours, as well as to make a connection with someone who wants to meet you.
  4. Using Zoosk Coins, you can boost your popularity to the point where your information appears at the top of the search panel, which will significantly increase the chances that others will view your profile.
  5. The ability to send virtual gifts.
  6. The opportunity to send messages in a Special Delivery format, which notifies the recipient that they have a special message from you.
  7. Message delivery confirmation, which also provides notification when the recipient reads your message.

Depending on your plan, you will automatically be billed unless you cancel in advance. It’s also important to note that Zoosk will refund your money only if you cancel your subscription with three days of making your purchase. Otherwise, you will lose the ability to get your money back.

Is Zoosk a Scam?

Zoosk is a big, reputable company, and is backed by numerous major venture capital firms. However, it’s strategically designed so that users will willingly choose to pay more and more money in order to capitalize on its full set of features. Here’s why:

If you’re a guy (just for the sake of conversation), and an attractive, young blonde woman based in Beverly Hills sends you a flirt, direct message, or even just views your profile, you’ll be instantly mesmerized. As a result, you’ll likely want to see her full profile, connect with her and engage in conversation, and see where it leads. But in order to satisfy these desires, you’ll have to purchase Coins or a subscription. From a stark business perspective, the Zoosk dating service would not be as effective if they didn’t allow users to first become “hooked” on the free service, and then want to pay more money to fulfill their emotions.

But here’s where the red flags are raised: Remember the beautiful blonde from Beverly Hills? Well, there have been numerous complaints that “overly-attractive” model-like women have contacted users under false pretenses, which were only discovered after users spent money to contact them. There have even been some accusations that some of these fake accounts belonged to Zoosk staff, though there is no evidence of this.

After signing up for the service, you’ll almost certainly be approached with “traditional” scamming methods, such as another user requesting money to get back to the U.S. after being stranded abroad. In fact, we experienced this within only a couple hours after signing up for an “undercover” Zoosk account. In addition, you may also run across several accounts that are really just fronts for adult services providers. So while Zoosk itself is not a scam, there are plenty of individuals out there willing to take your money if you’re not careful.

If you decide to sign up with Zoosk, we recommend that you take caution, and not be too hasty in giving out personal information such as email addresses and phone numbers. If you’ve sent a couple messages and/or chatted with someone on a few occasions, and they’re also taking their time, this is usually a good indication that they’re legitimately searching for someone, just like you are.

See also: Watch Out for These 6 Red Flags When Dating Online


Read 63 Zoosk Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Customer Rating: 1.3
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 1 4 star: 2 3 star: 1 2 star: 7 1 star:  52
Bottom Line: 8% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 63
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  • 2 out 4 people found this review helpful

    I met my fiance

    • Georgia,
    • Jul 1, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Though I was very skeptical of online dating, I still signed up with Zoosk. I knew what I wanted in a partner. I did not give much information in my profile.

    I recognized the scammers and the pervs. I waited patiently, blocking people left and right, until I got contacted by the right person.

    Now we are happily engaged. If it wasn't for Zoosk, I wouldn't have met the love of my life. So everything is possible, your success is in your hands.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 13 people found this review helpful

    Not the worst, not the best either.

    • Oceanside, CA,
    • Jul 15, 2015

    As far as dating sites go, Zoosk is pretty good. The only downside is that most users do not subscribe, obviously due to the high monthly cost. However, for those that do subscribe, it is awesome. It encourages people to like pictures, which increases your chances to make a connection with someone. I have actually met a lot of nice girls on there in person. When you originally sign up it is confusing because of the 'auto wink reply' feature that people can have with the free profile. So you think people are actively writing back to you, but it is just their auto reply, they didn't even know you tried to write them. It would be nice if Zoosk lowered their monthly costs, because I think a lot more members would try it, making it overall a better site. I like OKCupid, but the members there are too focused on LifeTime Relationships they almost never want to meet up with someone. Zoosk has more realistic members.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Not too bad but have issues

    Zoosk advertises that it takes 20 coins to unlock a profile and I have always had to do 30 coins in order to unlock a profile. I had a time when I got 40 coins, but I didn't get it posted so that I can unlock a profile. It's true that if you want to try to cancel your subscription, Zoosk do not refund your money back to you and they do not remove your name because you will still receive emails from profiles stating that they are interested. But I also had good luck on Zoosk, I met someone who I really liked and the feeling is mutual, four years later. Anything you get into will have pros and cons. Nothing is perfect.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 10 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Not like the ads

    • Melbourne,
    • Sep 26, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was a bit disappointed. This is just not at all like the ads portray it to be.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 18 out 18 people found this review helpful

    Site interference

    • Sun City West, AZ,
    • Jun 13, 2015

    I contacted one lady with a message complimenting her for her worldly accomplishments. She said thanks. I expressed my regret we lived so far apart and wished her well. She returned the same to me. Afterwards, I was getting daily, multiple notices she was viewing me. I was curious so asked her if she was viewing me multiple times daily. She said no. It appears to me the site is generating false views, not a good thing for one of these sites to do as it gets folks all excited that someone is interested when they are not. I finally stopped the exchanges by blocking her and removing chat permission. For this reason, I will not recommend this site to anyone unless they like to be misled by this type of interference.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 13 out 13 people found this review helpful

    Agree with negative rewiews

    • Canada,
    • Jul 22, 2015

    I think Zoosk has really poor value and I found that most of the users were out of immediate area. Zoosk has a poor ability to filter. I think it's basically just a marketing scam hooked into Facebook to make it appealing and easy to use. However, that doesn't mean it's useful.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 15 out 15 people found this review helpful

    E-mails don't appear to get delivered although I subscribed and paid for that feature.

    • Ten Mile, TN,
    • Oct 31, 2015

    I noticed that no one responds to an email, even though they are listed as a Zoosk member. I complained to support and they blew a line of smoke evading the issue. I sent 31 test e-mails requesting that the person simply acknowledged that they received the e-mail. Not a single person responded and Zoosk customer support ignored the problem indicating by that action this is probably a company policy with the goal to sell e-mail confirmations before allowing delivery. The last complaint I sent was totally ignored. I would think that at least one person would respond since the message indicated a test.

    I tried a similar approach on Christian Mingle and received a response after sending only three e-mails.

    I don't think any e-mails that I sent through Zoosk have been delivered.

    I suggest that a government authority set up male and female accounts on Zoosk, take out subscriptions, and then try sending e-mails. I think there is a high probability they can prove fraud. Maybe you should try this test yourself and publicly post the results.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Did not receive new password in email

    • Greensboro, NC,
    • Feb 2, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I send messages and request after request and got no reply. It's like I never sent anything. No satisfaction.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 11 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Fraud

    • Texas,
    • May 23, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been using Zoosk for several months. When I get a message that "a Zoosk member" wants to meet me and I choose "Yes" to the question "Do you want to meet her?", the result is going to another screen to pictures of quite a few more women, but none are the same as the Zoosk member who wants to meet me. What's worse is that I got "a Zoosk member" who wants to meet me from Daisetta notice, and two days later I got the same "a Zoosk member" who wants to meet me from Edinburgh. Sounds like a scam/fraud to me. I unsubscribed on 5/20 and will be curious to see if they try to charge my card in June when my original subscription expires.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    I feel cheated

    • Springville, PA,
    • Aug 3, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I got sucked in with numerous chat requests at first when I was doing the free stuff. A week later, dying of curiosity, I paid for a month of subscription. I did not realize that it is a recurring fee, so I will have to watch that when I cancel. Every little thing extra you may want to do seems to cost more money. I found very few local people, and most of the ones I did find were accounts hacked and changed by the original poster's angry significant other. Other local profiles appear to be total zombie accounts as the people are never online and do not respond to messages.

    One person I recognized immediately and knew to be in a committed relationship. This person thought they had deleted their account two years prior. Many profiles have references to years which indicate the profile is many, many years old. Saw many profiles that interested me only to not be able to find them again just hours later. Total waste of money in my opinion. A reputable site would weed out the inactive accounts and indicate if someone is or is not able to use messaging.

    I would never recommend this site.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Just about useless

    • North Carolina,
    • Mar 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Zoosk is just about useless. It will present you with profiles that typically include images of lots of people, but it seems to me that with even the most basic of technology that the app should be able to narrow down who you are presented with and who you are presented to. If not, why should I bother to fill out a profile of who I am most interested in. Take for example someone viewing me, I should not show up in a feed of someone who does not match what I am looking for but the vast majority of "views" are from people who are not even a remote match for who I am seeking. The app should be able to filter this. It is a waste of time for them to see me and for me to have to delete them. Likewise with the carousel, the only demographic it seems to match for is age range. Of the 50 people on any given carousel, only 1 or 2 fit the general profile that interest me - black men. I spend an inordinate amount of time clicking off/blocking people who are white who I am sure are very nice but not within the demographic I am looking for.

    The lack of filtering by the app is annoying.

    I also find it annoying that the "view" notification, notifies both parties even when there was not an intentional view. To me, a view should be I see the picture, and open the profile. Not the app has sent me a picture, forces me to interact with it by hitting the X, or arrow to pass forward, and then notifies the other party that I viewed when I did not. I know most of the views I am receiving result from this ridiculous set up so you do not know who actually took initiative to "read" my profile, "view" me.

    I will not renew my subscription. I have tried other dating apps. I do not remember them being as useless as this. More random notifications of people who really didn't "look" is not better than having less notifications that reflect people who actually did have some initial interest.

    If you sign up, just do a month. If you like it, then do the multi-month plan. I return to the site only because I have paid for it. When it ends, I will not be back.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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